Iodine nutritional status and risk factors for goitre among schoolchildren in South TajikistanReport as inadecuate

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BMC Endocrine Disorders

, 13:50

Epidemiology of Endocrine Disorders


BackgroundIodine deficiency affects nearly 1.9 billion people worldwide, but it can be prevented by salt iodization. This cross-sectional survey assessed current iodine status, iodized salt coverage and risk factors for goitre among schoolchildren in South Tajikistan.

MethodsTen primary schools in four districts in South Tajikistan were randomly selected. In schoolchildren aged 7 to 11 years, a spot urine sample was collected for measurement of urinary iodine, dried blood spots were collected for measurement of thyroglobulin, and goitre was assessed by palpation. Iodine content of salt samples and local selling points was determined by coloration using rapid test kits and titration method.

ResultsOf 623 schoolchildren enrolled, complete data was obtained from 589. The overall median urinary iodine concentration UIC was 51.2 μg-L indicating mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency. Among all children, 46.6% 95% Confidence Interval CI = 42.4%-50.6% of children were found to be goitrous grade 1 goitre: 30.6%, 95% CI = 26.9%-34.5%; grade 2 goitre: 16.0%, 95% CI = 13.1%-19.2%. The risk factor for goitre remaining significant in the multivariable logistic regression model was -buying salt once a month’ OR = 2.89, 95% CI = 1.01-8.22 and -buying salt once every six months’ OR = 2.26, 95% CI = 1.01-5.04 compared to -buying salt every one or two weeks’. The overall median thyroglobulin concentration was elevated at 13.9 μg-L. Of the salt samples from households and selling points, one third were adequately iodised, one third insufficiently and one third were not iodised.

ConclusionIodine deficiency remains a serious health issue among children in southern Tajikistan. There is a persisting high prevalence of goitre, elevated thyroglobulin and low UIC despite interventions implemented by Tajikistan and international partners. Quality control of salt iodine content needs to be improved. Continued efforts to raise awareness of the health effects of iodine deficiency are needed to increase consumer demand for iodised salt.

KeywordsIodine status Goitre Risk factors for goitre Urinary iodine concentration Thyroglobulin concentration Salt iodization Schoolchildren Tajikistan AbbreviationsGDPGross domestic product

ICCIDDInternational Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders

IDIodine deficiency

IDDIodine deficiency disorders

JPMJoint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation by the WHO and UNICEF

LRTLikelihood ratio test

MoHMinistry of Health

ppmParts per million

Project SinoSwiss Health Reform and Family Medicine Support Project

RRSRegion of Republican Subordination

SDStandard deviation

SSESSState Sanitary Epidemiological Surveillance Service

UICUrinary iodine concentration

WHOWorld Health Organization.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1472-6823-13-50 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Barbara Matthys - Mohbegim Davlatmamadova - Gulzira Karimova - Vreni Jean-Richard - Michael B Zimmermann - Kaspar Wyss


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